Fulfilling the Promise of Potential

Since 1986, community members in the Jordan School District, from parents to leaders have come together to volunteer for the Jordan Education Foundation (JEF). Mike Haynes, the current director of JEF began his service as a volunteer.  A successful businessman and former United States Board of Education board member, Mike’s experience in both business and in education have helped to position him as a JEF leader. “It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” he explained, but he acknowledges quickly that he couldn’t do this alone, noting that JEF consists of a broad range of members. “There’s community members, business owners – the president of the board is South Jordan’s mayor … there’s Utah teachers on the board.  It’s a good mix.” Also included on the JEF board is our own superintendent, Anthony Godfrey. 

The mission of JEF, as stated on their website, is “a community fulfilling the promise of potential in every child, every day.” Enhancing students’ education and helping students in need through supplies and funding is their goal. Mike revealed that “It’s really fun when somebody steps up and says, ‘Yeah, hello!  How can I help?’ and that’s what it’s really about.” Funding and other efforts from JEF covers five fields: Educational Programs, Classroom Grants, Staff Excellence Recognition, Student Support & Scholarships, and Health & Wellness. Funds raised for Health and Wellness go towards three main objectives: Helping with medical expenses for procedures like lice treatment, dental exams, and eye exams; providing hygiene kits; and funding/stocking the Principal’s Pantry. Donations towards these efforts come in the form of both money and supplies. Recently, the Foundation has been heading up a project called Bed’r Homes for Kids, collecting new beds for students in need. The goal has been to collect 200 beds for kids who are either experiencing homelessness, or who otherwise do not have a comfortable place to sleep.

If you can’t donate a bed, the website has a list of supplies that are needed, like food, hygiene and clothing. These supplies often come from major group projects, which peak around Christmas, but supplies and funds are needed and accepted year round. 

There are opportunities provided to multiple middle and high schools. As an example, there’s a scholarship coordinated through JEF that is more unique to Copper Hills High School: The Bingham Canyon Lions Club scholarship. This scholarship’s main requirement is that the student applying must be a citizen of Copperton township, as the funding comes from a group founded in Copperton and the former Bingham Canyon area. It is awarded to four seniors for approximately $1,000 and can be renewable. Other funding provided through JEF goes towards classroom funding in the form of small classroom grants that our teachers here at Copper Hills High School and other schools in the district can apply for at the beginning of the year.

The Foundation would love to see more involvement from students, especially groups who are looking for service projects to do for their clubs, sports, or to help enhance their Sterling Scholar portfolios.  Sometimes students who look to charities outside of Utah don’t realize that there are people around them who are experiencing difficulties. As Haynes notes,“It’s really rewarding for people to see that they can help out right in their own backyard.” The Jordan Education Foundation is currently a key component in efforts to help students and educators in need throughout the Jordan School District, and they don’t just accept monetary donations; donations of time and talent are just as valuable. If you have a project you think could help the students and teachers of the Jordan School District, you can contact the Foundation with these ideas and see if they can be made into a reality by emailing JEF at [email protected]. Should you lack the time and not the money, you can donate to JEF directly through jordaneducationfoundation.org.